“Sexual Health Testing DOES NOT STOP once you are in a relationship! Join us in the fight for a healthier, stronger community and #godeeper by taking part in our study!” love coaches Juan and Gee Sessions-Smalls said on their Facebook.
1200 LGBT couples are needed in Emory University’s HIV couples research study. Juan and Gee will be featured in ads across multiple platforms – hopefully more like this current one! – encouraging couples to participate.
“If you are in a relationship and are willing to improve your sexual health together, you could get paid $80! Just visit http://strongertogether.us/ and COMPLETE the survey to see if you’re eligible.”
Peep the full press release below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 1ST, 2015
Juan & Gee recently partnered with Emory University in their StrongerTogether project. #StrongerTogether is looking for over 1200 male couples to join in the mission to reduce the risk of HIV transmission within relationships (visit them at strongertogether.us).
#StrongerTogether asks a very simple question: If we provide information and counseling to the couple together, do they do better at managing HIV risk than if we treat them as two individuals? Currently, HIV care is individualized. Men typically go to seek care or testing alone. But for a couple, doesn’t it make sense to see both men together and allow the couple to work together?
From Dr. Rob Stephenson, Professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, Co-Director of the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities (SEXLAB), and#StrongerTogether Lead:
“Stronger Together aims to provide couples with the opportunity to come together and make informed decisions that allow them to keep their relationship healthy. This puts the couple at the center of managing their own HIV risk. Guided by a counselor, the couple set prevention goals and will learn communication skills that allow them to discuss and manage HIV in their relationship. Receiving counseling and care as a couple may allow couples to make important decisions together about PrEPuse or adjusting the conditions of their agreements around outside sexual partners.
With marriage equality continuing to spread throughout the U.S. it is imperative that we start to recognize not only the demand for couples-focused HIV services but the power of couples to work together to fight HIV. Because when we all come together, especially in the fight against HIV, we are all stronger together.”
From Juan & Gee:
“We realize that contrary to popular belief, many men contract HIV while in a Committed Relationship. As a community, we cannot continue to not talk about these issues, especially within relationships. The veil of secrecy must be lifted. HIV testing DOES NOT STOP once you enter into a committed relationship or even once you say “I do”! We must continue to have these conversations and take responsibility not only for OUR personal health but our Partners’ health as well! We completely believe in, are committed to and share in Emory’s vision of a healthier community. How do we realize that vision? Through regular candid conversations about HIV and our sexual desires. Engaging in this practice will help reduce the risks of contracting the virus and allow you to explore a deeper level of connection with your partner. So, when Emory approached us to partner with them for this cause, we saw it as an opportunity to #GoDeeper.”
Juan & Gee have already started working with Emory and will continue to help spread the message through AD campaigns, Video Messaging & Special Events.
Eligible couples receive $80 for their time!
If you are a male-male couple and are interested in screening for sexual health together or separately, visit http://strongertogether.us to see if you’re eligible. Be sure to tell them Juan & Gee Sent you!